R and D Grants – how to make them work for your growth

As a SME who has been successful, employing people and gone through 3 decades of business in Adelaide Australia. I have found there are some really important facts that as a business one has to do.

grant-moneyThe logical items would be planning, cashflow, decisive, keep up sales and marketing, and keep ones eyes open. However there is more that is KEY – that is HOPE.

Adelaide in South Australia is known as the City of Churches, however, here in Adelaide, just by looking around one can see the lack of hope on every street. If one considers even recent history, one can see that countries and leaders have understood and harnessed hope. They have actually worked hard at showing belief in the ideas they promote and displayed belief that these ideas will bring a positive outcome to those who are affected by their decisions.

In fact even in our last State and Federal election our leaders should really do a review of the impact that hope had on the votes they received. People would rather vote for Hope that to continue on a same path if it is not the best. But if no hope is offered, better the devil you know that the devil you don’t.

So what does this all have to do with R and D grants? Simple. We as an IT firm, look and research ideas we are presented with. If the idea proves that a product would have commercial viability and we could produce this in a cost effective time, then we will strongly consider producing that product. This is because this brings us hope.

image from governmentsgrant.org

The HOPE with R and D, is that we could sell the product, it could be a great rise to fame and extra success.

However, as a business owner the problem was cashflow and income. This is where the grant comes in. Getting the grant was the next MAJOR hurdle. I had tried to get grants before, in fact paid people for advice and knowledge, only to find I had lost the money and energy I had invested. My solution was BDO. They worked on the grant with me for a set percentage. This was great. I paid nothing up front. Lost nothing if it did not come through, and they got paid and so did I. A great win/win.

So where has that lead me.

My company Accede is still creating specific boutique databases for businesses. We have also created to date 3 products

We are currently working on 2 fronts. Marketing and Sales. Plus product improvements and new prospective products.

R and D does work. The trick is not only creating the product and getting over problems, but also working out how to take this to the next level and sell or market these products. I hope that soon our government assists SME’s with this next step.

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.